Senior Vice President
Michael Hensinger, senior vice-president and senior managing director at Synchrony Ventures, the corporate venturing unit of the US-based financial services group Synchrony Financial, has a focus on equity investments in early stage companies in the financial technology (fintech), ecommerce and emerging technology sectors, including artificial intelligence (AI), data and analytics, consumer finance, and blockchain technologies.
As an organization with more than 84 years of experience financing major consumer purchases and elective healthcare and as the largest provider of private label credit cards in the US, it is perhaps no surprise that Synchrony Ventures’ early deals have included payment card management platform First Performance’s $17.5m round and an undisclosed amount in FlexReceipts, a provider of digital receipts in 2016, with Lisnr and First Performance joining the portfolio last year.
In November, Lisnr, a US-based provider of data-over-audio technology, raised strategic financing from Synchrony, as part of a larger, undisclosed round with participation from Mercury Fund, Jump Capital, NGMP, and Danmar Capital.
In January last year, First Performance Global, a US-based provider of payment card management technology, completed a $17.5m round led by payment services firm Mastercard and including financial services providers Regions Financial and Synchrony Financial and venture capital firm RRE Ventures.
Synchrony also acquired portfolio company GPShopper in March having initially made a strategic investment in the developer of mobile apps for retailers and brands in January 2015.
Hensinger said GPShopper had been one of its “more rewarding outcomes” as the deal started as a strategic investment in 2015, the year he joined the company, and led to the development of new Synchrony technology called Synchrony Plug-in, or SY-PI.
Hensinger joined Synchrony 2.5 years ago after a four-year stint at General Electric (GE), initially for strategic investments relating to its leveraged loans and latterly as chief commercial officer for GE Capital, Global Financial Solutions, which provided cross-border and customised financing to multinational corporations.
After his MBA at Fordham Gabelli School of Business, Hensinger had earlier spent more than a decade at GE before leaving to develop lending businesses at FirstLight Financial, CIT Group and TD Bank.
But while he has travelled far in his career he said he enjoyed music, baseball, tennis, and skiing with his family.